System Optimization

O&O Spring Cleanup Bundle and Discount

It’s time for Spring Cleaning and here is another computer bundle, this time from O&O software. It includes:

DiskImage for making a backup of your system or for cloning and entire drive
Defrag to keep files tidy.
AutoBackup for backing up files and syncing files to external drives
SafeErase for deleting Temp files, Internet files, Wiping Free Space and even the entire drive

I’ve used DiskImage in the past and it has worked quite well for me. It’s currently scheduled to make an image of my C:\ drive every two weeks. So if something goes wrong with that drive, it should just be a matter of replacing it, restoring the image and back up and running.

O&O is offering each program for $12 for 1 PC, or you can buy a bundle with all 4 apps to cover 3 PCs for $39. Clearly, the bundle price is far cheaper than buying 1 copy of each. It’s an 85% discount on the cost of each app.

https://shop.oo-software.com/36/purl-springcleanh

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Ashampoo Bundle System Utilities 13–Winoptimzer, Uninstaller, HDD Control

With Spring Cleaning comes the time to dig through your system and clean out some of those old files and programs you no longer need. Ashampoo has a bundle offer to help with the task and it comes with a really good price. The Bundle System Utilities 13 contains Winoptimizer to help clean out old files, Uninstaller which can be used to remove programs you no longer need and monitor new ones as you go forward, and HDD Control to keep an eye on your drives so you don’t suffer from data loss, a problem I seem to keep running into as I add more and more drives to my system.

Even at the lowest discount price, all three apps would be around $36. However, with this bundle, you can get all three for less than half of that. Using the link below, you can get all three for $19, or just over $6 a piece. That is a really good deal.

Ashampoo Bundle System Utilities 13–Winoptimzer, Uninstaller, HDD Control

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A Slightly Deeper Look at Process Lasso

With all this talk about Process Lasso, I decided to download a copy and give it try. First things first, despite what so many people say, Process Lasso is NOT FREE. Like other "shareware", it’s free to TRY for 30 days. It keeps working after the trial period, but a majority of features are disabled and plenty of nag screens will pop up.

That aside, Process Lasso is a tool built to tame your CPU and improve performance as well as invoke a Game Mode that gives your game a higher priority. All of this is to give a smoother and more responsive gaming experience. So does it work?

My goal was to beef up Shroud of the Avatar, which is in Early Access and hasn’t had any optimization done. This test was to see if any improvements could be made by boosting the executable and lowering the priority of other processes.

Right off the bat, Process Lasso offers a vast array of information about the processes running, memory usage and gives you the ability to change priority and processor affinity. While it’s not a Task Manager replacement, it presents a lot of good information.

One of the main tenants of Process Lasso is to improve overall CPU responsiveness, meaning if a process starts getting out of control, the tool will lower the priority and make other adjustments to keep the renegade program from consuming your machine. If you watch your machine long enough, you might notice you already have an app or two like this. If so, you can see Process Lasso make adjustments in the output window.

There are plenty of other features such a keeping a program running even after it crashes, terminating an app if it tries to start up, attempt to trim memory if the app goes over a threshold as well as limiting the number of instances a program can spawn. All of these are pretty good features and for those that want to dig in, there is a lot to tinker with.

The UI however is frustrating. To change the processor affinity from 8 cores down to 4, requires going through the menu system 4 times, each time unchecking a core. This is tedious. The same method has to be used through all menus which means really getting into some serious tuning will also mean a serious amount of clicks.

After making a few simple adjustments, I loaded SotA to see if I had any improvements. Everything felt fine and things worked smoothly. SotA was already in DimmDrive and I had previously tweaked my settings with Core Tuner (which was then turned off). In the end, the experience was the same as it was before, meaning, yes Process Lasso works (although I have no numbers for you), but it works the same as apps that are half the price.

Without being dismissive to Process Lasso, Core Tuner has a price of $20 and an upgrade price of $6. CPU Cores has a price of $20 and since it’s on Steam, will work across multiple machines. Process Lasso is $27 for a single machine. So while it does have some neat features, if you’re just looking to build a "Game Profile" with your game at a higher priority and put processes like indexing and searching at a lower priority, Process Lasso is way more than you need.

But Process Lasso is interesting to watch run to see what services and apps keep vying for CPU time. I noticed I have several background threads that could use with a bit of tuning. So overall, Process Lasso is pretty neat and does offer a lot of knobs and dials you can tune. Or you can let it use it’s own defaults and adjust on the fly. Really, the only complain is the UI is a bit cumbersome and the price is a little high for what you get.

lasso

This is output from my gaming machine. There is a lot of cool information here, and SotA worked the same as when Core Tuner was running. It worked fine and SotA had no issues, but in my mind, Process Lasso offers core features I have in Core Tuner which cost me $6. Sure, Process Lasso will let me dig deeper, but that’s not really what I need. It’s a good app, but the UI can be tedious and the price is too high. If I could pick up a copy for $20 or less, I’d do it, until then, Core Tuner works just fine for me. And my biggest improvements have come from DimmDrive.

By the way, you can use this giveaway link to get a working key for Ashampoo Core Tuner 2 and compare them for yourself.

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Black Friday Deals for O&O Software Products. 50% Off Entire Catalog

The Black Friday Specials are coming in faster than I can read/delete them. A couple of good ones caught my eye like the entire O&O Software catalog on sale for 50% Off. That is a pretty sweet deal considering it covers O&O Defrag, O&O DiskImage, O&O SafeErase and others. These guys make some really good software not only to keep your system running smoothly, but to resurrect it from the dead if something goes wrong. O&O DiskImage is a personal favorite of mine to take snapshots of the entire drive so all I have to do is boot from the Recovery CD and restore the image. I’ve actually had to do this more than once and it’s incredibly easy to use and restored all my files perfectly. I currently have DiskImage cloning the drive in my main machine and putting the image file on a data disk.

Click the link below and add whatever items you want to the cart, each will get the sale price.

Save 50% on O&O Software Products

You can also still get the Autumn Bundle which includes:

O&O Defrag
O&O CleverCache
O&O AutoBackup
O&O MediaRecovery
O&O SafeErase

If you don’t need all those or already have some, go for the mix and match option.

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The CCleaner Professional Plus Bundle – What Do You Get Over Free?

So I went ahead and bought a copy of the CCleaner Professional Plus Bundle which gave me all 4 programs for $5 more than buying a single program. And, it’s nearly $20 cheaper than buying them all individually. Quite a bargain really. But I see this question written a lot, why should I buy CCleaner or Defraggler when the free ones work perfectly fine?

Well, they are indeed impressive apps, so what do you get if you buy them all?

First, let’s go with the altruistic answer, you’re helping to support the developers and provide funds so updates and new versions will keep on coming. So, the satisfaction of knowing you did the right then.

While the programs are by and large identical, there are a couple of nice features. CCleaner has a nice monitoring tool  that determines when it’s time to take out the trash and save you some space. It offers to clean Internet files when the browser closes and pops up a notification when a reasonable amount of space can be save.

The programs will also download and install updates automatically. Normally these are all separate steps.

So, those really are the differences. Upgrading to the Pro version doesn’t enable a slew of missing features. I suppose that’s a double-edged sword. Piriform is offering a complete program for free and if it’s of benefit they hope you’ll buy a "full" copy as a way of saying thank you for their work. Many people will say to heck with it and just stick with free because there’s no point in paying for something you can get for free. True enough, but if CCleaner and the rest of the "free" tools happen to disappear one day or don’t implement features or bug fixes, you have no one to blame but yourself.

Ccleaner,Defraggler, Recuva and Speccy are all free apps worth paying for.

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